Friday, January 3, 2014

“Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.” —Oliver Wendell Holmes

 We already miss Bunda.  The picture at the right was one that John took of Karen taking a picture of our four-legged neighbors on our way back home from Mwanza a week or two ago.  I love it.  Found out this morning that we will be staying another three days here because the embassy says it can’t get my new passport back by the time they had originally told me.  I was on time for my appointment but while they had told me to take my picture on a light background—they meant a “white” background, so I had to go to a nearby mall and get another picture taken.  I got plenty of walking done today because you can’t get near the embassy by vehicle (security reasons) and since I had to leave and go back because of the picture (not to mention the walking in the mall), I reckon I walked more today than I have in months.  I did argue a bit with the lady at the embassy, but she was holding all the cards.  At least now, everything is in motion and I just wait till I get an email telling me to go back and pick up my new passport with the computer chip in it.  I loved all the Tanzanians working at the embassy—we laughed and slapped hands and had a good time.  The Americans working there—not so much.  I don’t think many of them are happy with their posting there, but what can you do.  They were polite and we got our business done efficiently, so that’s all good.  Now I can turn my attention to sermon preparation and I want to do it all in Kiswahili so I will need to look up more than a few words in advance and practice them on the hotel staff.  The staff seem to really like us, but I think they don’t get many guests here who can speak their language or joke with them in it.  We didn’t make it to the restaurant last night because our driver got tied up at the airport, so we will try again tonight.  The extra days here means we have to ration our money pretty carefully.  Thankfully, we get a free breakfast that is really good and there are snacks available all afternoon.  The hotel doesn’t allow food to be brought in from the outside or we could do quite well.  We will just have to be creative.  Karen is also on a gluten free diet (which has reduced her pain considerably) so we have to watch that, too, but it’s not too much of a problem since there is so much fruit available.  The concierge is Sukuma as are several of our staff back in Bunda, so when I found out and spoke some Sukuma to him—I made a new friend for life, it seems.  He can’t do enough for us.  We do love the Tanzanians here, but you knew that.  
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